Roadside America, the whimsical indoor miniature village and railway museum in Shartlesville, announced its permanent closure Sunday evening on social media.
Covering 8,000 square feet, created by Laurence Gieringer in 1935, the 8,000 square foot display first opened to the public in the home of Mr Laurence Gieringer in Hamburg.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the permanent closure of Roadside America after 85 years of business. Nearly 3 years ago, we decided to place the display for sale, hoping to find a buyer who would continue business operations” reads a statement from the owners.
”Despite meeting with multiple interested parties over the last 2 years, each with their own unique vision, none committed to moving forward with the village. When we closed our doors in March in the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic, we remained hopeful that someone would come forward and commit to the business. As months passed and the future of tourism remained uncertain, we ultimately made the difficult decision to do what is best for our family and pursue other options.“
An auction is being planned for display pieces, including buildings, bridges, figures and animations.
“This decision was not made without extensive thought and consideration, and was ultimately the result of multiple factors and circumstances. We ask that you please be respectful and understanding of our choices during this difficult time, as this has been indescribably heartbreaking for our family.”
”There are no words to express how grateful we’ve been for every one of you, our valued customers and supporters. We truly feel blessed to have been part of your family traditions, memories and treasured moments. It has been our honor to care for Laurence’s meticulously handcrafted landscape, and to share our family’s history with so many people. It was a blessing to remain a family-owned business for so many years. We hope you’re all staying safe during this unprecedented time.”